[214] Carpe Diem

You see them on social media. They’re always going to one place or another. They seem to be living their best lives. “Oh, we just went to Hawaii”, or “Hey, I’m headed off to [insert name of country here]!” Either they’re well-off and can afford anything they want, or they save and budget really well. Then there’s the opposite end of the spectrum: the workaholics who never go anywhere because they don’t want to take time off, or they think they’ll fall behind, or anything else from a myriad of excuses. They wear their burnout like a badge of honor—constantly working, not knowing anything else. Somewhere in the middle is someone like me. Even though I work, I do so paycheck to paycheck (or in this case, direct deposit to direct deposit🤣). It’s really hard to save for anything, since nearly every penny goes to bills and groceries.

The last time I took a real vacation was back in 2016, when I took my kids to California, and again in 2017. We visited Knott’s Berry Farm and saw some of my old neighborhood. Some things changed in the years since I lived there, and some things are still the same. Since that time, I haven’t really taken time off. I get my normal days off, but I’ve never been able to go anywhere. Others in the house did, but I’m so not going there.

This coming week, however, is a different story. I’ve requested three days off from work. I haven’t had any time off like that for a long time. I don’t count the lockdowns from last year, nor the time I was required to stay home from being infected with coronavirus back in December. I’m taking the days off, and for a couple of them, I’m leaving the area. I’m going by myself to de-stress in Las Vegas for a day or two. I’m just going to enjoy being away from everything and everyone in southern Utah. No work, no kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to death, but everyone needs some “me time”. That’s something I rarely get, and now’s my chance.

Every year at work, we are rewarded with a stipulated amount of vacation pay. We can request it on any paycheck, one week at a time, or all at once. We can work and receive the equivalent of a double or triple paycheck (and get a huge chunk taken out for taxes), or, if we plan it right, be paid while taking a week off. Once I reach my work anniversary date, I’ll have this pay available, and I’m planning to take an entire week off, and take another week out of the area. I think I deserve it. I am far from a workaholic, and I’ve never known anyone who, when they die, have engraved on their headstone, “I wish I’d spent more time at work”. No, people end up regretting not enjoying life. They had x number of years in their life, but there was no life in their years. I’m knocking on the door of 50 years old (albeit about 15 months away), and I want to enjoy life more while I’m still here.

“I climbed on the desk to remind myself that we must always look at things from different angles. And the world looks different from up here.”

John Keating, played by Robin Williams, from 1989’s “Dead Poets Society”

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